The True Secret Behind Donna’s Joy is Finally Revealed!

By Dondi Dahlin

One of the most common (and oddest) questions I get from people is when they ask if my mom's joy is real. Is she really that happy? Well, she IS human (believe it or not :-)) so she can occasionally have days of sadness or angst. But for the most part, she is really happy, and it is real. After their question, I often hear a person mumble, "I wish I could be that happy." I will tell you a little secret about my mom's happiness: My mom has always had HOPE. Pure, crystal clear, blissed-out HOPE bubbling over like a babbling brook in the springtime. Her hope is big, unbridled, and unedited. She is unapologetic about it.  

You may be wondering, 'What happens when Donna's hopes are dashed?' In short, she takes a pause, perhaps ponders for a wee bit of time, and then she bounces back with…more hope! It doesn't matter to her if something comes true or her desires get fulfilled —she finds joy in hope itself. The experience of hope is so immensely beautiful to her that she can take the journey of hope without getting tied into the expectation of what might be on the other side. She enjoys the hope itself. This is unlike anyone I have ever known.  

Psychological "experts," say that hope can set us up for disappointment and defeat. The more favorable our future expectations, the greater our disappointment—or disillusionment—will be when these expectations aren't met or irrevocably crushed. Not for Mom! 

For Mom, her experience of hoping is purely wonderful and positive. It is simply a realistic expectation that something good will happen. This spirit and belief have been one of the primary foundations of her life…a realistic expectation that something good will happen.  

Are you able to experience hope without getting too attached to the outcome? That is the key, isn't it? To be ok and content—even joyful—no matter what happens. Maintaining a realistic expectation that something good will happen and if it doesn't, that's ok, the knowing that all is meant to be, just as it is happening. When I was about 12, my mom gave me a big beautiful, colorful book of affirmations. My favorite affirmation was one I tore out of the book, stuck on my wall, and quickly memorized. I have been known to mutter it throughout my life: 

Wherever you are in this moment is exactly where you are supposed to be, no matter how things may seem to appear.  

And with that, I am able to freely experience and enjoy hope without getting my dreams or expectations dashed if things don't work exactly as I want. 

Mom has LOTS of hope for 2023! What are your hopes for 2023? Please share below or click on this link to share your answer on our Facebook page! You are a part of our community, and we want to know. Here's to a happy and hopeful 2023! 

Dondi and her mom, Donna Eden